An innovative way to combat the double-punch of low housing inventory plus unaffordable homes is officially in Glendale.
Friday marked the groundbreaking for the forthcoming Centerline on Glendale development. Now under way, the 368-unit community on 13 acres at 6775 N. 67th Ave., in the Ocotillo District, figures to open in late 2024. One-, two- and three-bedroom units will range from $497 per month for the most affordable unit to $1,837 per month for the most expensive space.
There will be rates across the spectrum in between.
Residents will be able to apply on site and online as the project gets closer to completion.
Centerline on Glendale is an historic development in the ever-growing effort on the part of municipalities to make affordable housing a priority. The project is the first in the state ever financed with private equity from the sale of state housing tax credits.
“This project will serve as a catalyst for future redevelopment and reinvestment along Glendale Avenue, the city of Glendale’s most important major arterial that connects downtown to the Westgate center,” Brian Swanton, president and CEO of Gorman and Company, the project developer, said at Friday’s groundbreaking.
The bipartisan program was passed by the Arizona Legislature in 2021, and is administered by the Arizona Department of Housing. The $2 million allocation of state credits was leveraged into $120 million in mostly private financing. US Bank is investing $50 million in private equity in the project.
City Councilman Jamie Aldama, who represents the Ocotillo District, noted Glendale’s poverty rate of 17.3%.
“It’s not every day that you have a project like this in demographics like this,” the fourth-generation Glendale resident said Friday. “It’s an unfortunate reality for many families in Arizona and in Glendale.”
The project will generate $2 million in permitting and impact fees for the city, $4.3 million in construction sales tax revenue for the state, and $400,000 in annual property taxes, 75% of which benefits local schools.
Centerline on Glendale will serve a wide range of residents who earn between 0% and 80% of the countywide median income.
“We have a deep shortage of housing,” Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a former social worker herself, said at the groundbreaking. “Arizona families with extremely low incomes are less likely to find available and affordable housing than households in 46 other U.S. states and D.C.”
The new community will feature on-site support services for residents, and will link up with agencies like Mountain Park Health Clinic, a federally-qualifying health center, which is currently under construction just a block away.
The development will include a 13-acre walking path, dog park, splash pad, computer lab, fitness center, multipurpose community center, retail spaces for local nonprofits, and a commercial kitchen operated by Local First Arizona. The community is also fully accessible for the disabled.
The Centerline Overlay District has long been a focus for the city.
The district comprises the area bounded by Myrtle Avenue to the north, 43rd Avenue to the east, Ocotillo Road to the south, and 67th Avenue to the west. The seven-square mile area includes four targeted areas: Midtown District (43rd to 51st avenues), Beet Sugar District (51st to 55th avenues), Historic Downtown (55th to 59th avenues), and Market District (59th to 67th avenues).
In 2011 a city report identified the area as long-range redevelopment potential, and in that effort provided an alternate set of requirements to encourage development and redevelopment within the Centerline.
“The intent,” the city report stated at the time, “is to facilitate private business investment, job creation, and the development of shopping and recreational opportunities in the Glendale Centerline.”
The $120 million Centerline on Glendale development represents Gorman & Company’s 30th affordable housing development in Arizona, which total more than 3,000 housing units around the state.
Gorman has developed two other affordable dwellings in Glendale: the Glendale Enterprise Lofts, at Glendale and 63rd avenues; and Ironwood Village, a formerly troubled apartment complex near 43rd Avenue and Ocotillo Road.
“We’re actually ready for more,” Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said to Swanton.
We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org.
Steve Stockmar has been with the Independent Newsmedia team since 2017. An NAU alum and Peoria resident, Steve’s community journalism pursuits focus mostly on arts & culture, education, and profiles of neighbors making a difference. In his spare time Steve plays in a vintage baseball league using uniforms and rules from the 1860s, and also acts (badly) in community theater. In addition, he has an unhealthy obsession with baseball and the Chicago Cubs.